tiercel

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English tercel, from Old French terçuel, from Late Latin tertiolus, the diminutive of Latin tertius (third). Sources disagree whether the connection is that the males of most species of birds of prey favoured in falconry are smaller than the females by about a third, or whether it refers to the supposition that only one egg in three yields a male.

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Noun[edit]

tiercel (plural tiercels)

  1. (falconry) A male hawk or falcon.
    • 1967, J. A. Baker, The Peregrine, page 39:
      He is a tiercel, lean and long and supple-winged, the first of the year.

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